Early postnatal myelin content estimate of white matter via T1w/T2w ratio

Kevin Lee, Marie Cherel, Francois Budin, John Gilmore, Kirsten Zaldarriaga Consing, Jerod Rasmussen, Pathik D. Wadhwa, Sonja Entringer, Matthew F. Glasser, David C. Van Essen, Claudia Buss, Martin Styner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop and evaluate a novel processing framework for the relative quantification of myelin content in cerebral white matter (WM) regions from brain MRI data via a computed ratio of T1 to T2 weighted intensity values. Data: We employed high resolution (1mm3 isotropic) T1 and T2 weighted MRI from 46 (28 male, 18 female) neonate subjects (typically developing controls) scanned on a Siemens Tim Trio 3T at UC Irvine. Methods: We developed a novel, yet relatively straightforward image processing framework for WM myelin content estimation based on earlier work by Glasser et al. We first co-register the structural MRI data to correct for motion. Then, background areas are masked out via a joint T1w and T2 foreground mask computed. Raw T1w/T2w-ratios images are computed next. For purpose of calibration across subjects, we first coarsely segment the fat-rich facial regions via an atlas co-registration. Linear intensity rescaling based on median T1w/T2w-ratio values in those facial regions yields calibrated T1w/T2wratio images. Mean values in lobar regions are evaluated using standard statistical analysis to investigate their interaction with age at scan. Results: Several lobes have strongly positive significant interactions of age at scan with the computed T1w/T2w-ratio. Most regions do not show sex effects. A few regions show no measurable effects of change in myelin content change within the first few weeks of postnatal development, such as cingulate and CC areas, which we attribute to sample size and measurement variability. Conclusions: We developed and evaluated a novel way to estimate white matter myelin content for use in studies of brain white matter development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationBiomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
EditorsBarjor Gimi, Robert C. Molthen
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415070
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2015Feb 26 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2015: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Image processing
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Myelin content
  • White matter


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